Michelle Ward sentencing delayed for mental health evaluation

PORT ANGELES — A Quileute tribal member’s sentencing in connection with the death of a 2½-year-old family member was delayed Monday while she undergoes a mental health evaluation.

Michelle Ann Ward, 29, had pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment in connection with the Nov. 11, 2016 death of Isaac Ward-Martinez, her cousin’s son.

Her sentencing was rescheduled for 9 a.m. July 23 in Clallam County Superior Court.

Ward, Ward-Martinez’s primary caretaker under the auspices of Quileute Indian Child Welfare Services, had her mother, Ramona Ward, care for the child while Michelle Ward worked.

Michelle Ward also pleaded guilty to solicitation to deliver a controlled substance, oxycodone, to her mother.

Ramona Ward, 46, who told authorities she was addicted to oxycodone, was sentenced June 4 to 26 ½ years after pleading guilty to homicide by abuse in connection with Ward-Martinez’s death.

Michelle Ward, who had been living in her mother’s Calawah Way home where Isaac was regularly abused, according to court records, had agreed to testify against her mother before her mother pleaded guilty.

A Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative screening examination was conducted on Michelle Ward by Olympic Personal Growth Center.

“She reports having suicidal ideation at this time,” according to the May 31 screen report.

The report said Ward, who had undergone treatment in 2007, could not control her alcohol and drug use, which included taking 20 mg of Percocet three to four times a day.

Percocet contains oxycodone, a pain reliever and opioid.

The maximum daily dose is 60 mg, according to www.MedicineNet.com, a WebMD site.

Ward, who began drinking beer regularly at age 14 and using opiates at age 17, participated in treatment programs in 2007, 2016 and 2018. She said she did not drink between ages 21-28.

American Behavioral Health Systems, a substance-abuse treatment provider, could treat Ward for 90-180 days, according to the report.

“[American Behavioral Health Systems] will not schedule a date until Michelle has a mental health evaluation and no longer has suicidal ideation,” the report said.

“Michelle also described her [alcohol and drug] use as ‘terrible’ and said alcohol and opiates are ‘the way I have dealt with issues my whole life.’

“She has a strong desire to change her life and her behaviors.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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